A great loyalty program that people hardly talk about is Lettuce Entertain You – Frequent Diner Club. The unfortunate part about this club is that you must PAY to join it. Although I am generally opposed to paying money up front to join a loyalty program, the folks at Lettuce Entertain You have done a decent job of lessening the pain fled by forking over $25 just to belong to their program. After you join, you will receive $10 on each of your next three visits, which means you will net $5 if you complete all three visits. There are two downsides to this. First, you must actually go back to a Lettuce restaurant with your Loyalty Program Card three times, but also a lesser known element of the program is that the reward bucks placed on your card are not valid on Saturdays after 4:00 pm. This is a prime dining out time for most people, so the $30 you earn is just not as valuable if you can’t use it when you want.
How do I earn Lettuce Entertain You Points?
Lettuce reward points are earned at a rate of 1 points/$1 spent. Elite members can earn 1.25 points per dollar for Silver members and 1.5 points per dollar for gold members. Qualifying for Silver status requires $1,000 in spend in one calendar year, and Gold requires $2,500. Unless you are hosting a lot of clients for business meetings, or you really love Lettuce Entertain You restaurants, I don’t see many people meeting the threshold to qualify for elite status. They should strongly consider lowering the Silver qualification threshold to $500 to make in realistic for most people and increase the stickiness of their program. If some customers are motivated by earning elite status, then a lower threshold will make it seem more attainable and will undoubtedly motivate them to visit more often.
Finally, Lettuce reward points can be redeemed at a rate of 140 points for $10. This conversion occurs automatically after you earn enough points to qualify. This change was made in June 2012 and is discussed in detail here.
So how much are Lettuce Entertain You Points Worth?
At a rate of $10 for 140 points, they are worth 7 cents/point. Shockingly, this is a very good return! In fact, on some days Lettuce Entertain You will run a promotion where you can earn 3x points per dollar spent. That equates to 21 cents per dollar spent, which is equivalent to 21% cash back. In my opinion that is an extremely generous reward. In fact the points use to be worth even more before they switched to the current program.
Regardless, I think the Lettuce Entertain You Loyalty Program is a well-structured and rewarding program. Unfortunately they don’t have a lot of restaurants outside of the Chicago area, so the audience for this is fairly limited.